Video Resource: Where Do Our Tax Dollars Go?

Still working through the set of 20 videos titled We The Economy.  I got a question a few months back from a teacher looking for a resource to help her students understand what taxes pay for.  So, I was happy to see this video “Your Tax Dollars At Work (with companion guide).”

What do I like about the video?

  • It clarifies the budget debate by showing that most federal spending falls into three categories.  See if your students can guess what they are.
  • It interviews a few of the beneficiaries of federal programs which captures the larger point of the struggle between head and. heart when it comes to budget priorities.
  • It has some excellent ideas on how to use the video as a starting point for a classroom debate about spending priorities (see Companion Guide above).

There is also a great resource (you can find further down this page) that allows students to see how federal spending has changed over time (1792 – 2014).  The pie chart below reflects spending in 1795.

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